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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I know, I know….sounds weird “Welcome back Cunard!”, like a grammar mistake…But is not ! And I will explain you why. In the last 3 years we travelled with Cunard couple of times on all three ships: Canary ... Read More
I know, I know….sounds weird “Welcome back Cunard!”, like a grammar mistake…But is not ! And I will explain you why. In the last 3 years we travelled with Cunard couple of times on all three ships: Canary Island, Transatlantic, Norwegian Fjords, two sectors of a World Voyage and so one. And each time, every time Cunard failed to impress us. It was nice but we didn’t find the “White Star Service” as advertised or expected. Cunard was missing something Last year we decided to have another go, on Queen Victoria. And the result was a multiplied WOW. Everything was PERFECT. Maybe just pure luck? To be sure that wasn’t a “cruise miracle” we booked again on Queen Victoria, this year, a 7 days voyage to Denmark and Germany. When we left the ship in a cold morning in Southampton we were 100% sure that the previous experience wasn’t an exception and we can say loud and clear “WELCOME BACK Cunard!”, welcome back to what we like about you and what we expect from you. Queen Victoria is elegance personified, an understated British style, without glitzy or loud and an ambience modest rather than striking. You can’t’ not love the luxurious furnishings and eye-catching features the air of extravagance on board atmosphere with muted colours and lots of dark wood. Is interesting the way how Cunard keep in Queen Victoria mixes the ambiance of the ocean liners of times past with the contemporary elegance of a modern luxury hotel. Everywhere you turn there is a treat for the eyes, from the glittering chandeliers and white gloved waiters serving scones at afternoon tea to elegant restaurants and deep, rich carpets. The interior decor is ‘traditional’ in Cunard-speak, with public rooms finely decorated in Edwardian/Victorian styles, with wrought-iron balustrades on staircases and in some bars. To be honest no matter how much blase you are, is impossible to don’t admire the stunning three-tier Grand Lobby with its unique artwork, sweeping staircase, sculpted balconies and a dramatic triple-height ceiling. A bronzed-effect sculptural representation of the cruise ship emerging from a sun motif coordinated with a marquetry relief depicting a map of the world is visible from nearly every part of the Grand Lobby. Accommodation Queen Victoria has 1,003 cabins. There are 143 inside, 146 ocean view and 581 balcony cabins. We had for our 7 days voyage a Penthouse - Q4 cabin situated on the 7th Deck. The Penthouse Suites feature a king-size bed a living area with sofa writing desk and chair balcony bathroom with bath and shower. Each of the 35 Queens Grill Penthouse Suites comes with a large living area, bedroom with acres of storage space and a veranda. Balconies have one large white table, one square small table, two stools, two loungers and two recliner chairs. The suite includes plush linens, a walk-in closet and a fully stocked bar. Additional amenities include butler and concierge service, fresh fruit and flowers, welcome bottles of champagne and strawberries, complimentary bottle water, complimentary broadsheet newspaper, DVD player priority disembarkation and tender service, access to the Queens Lounge, priority embarkation and luggage delivery, personalized stationery, Terry cloth robes with matching slippers. Even if we loved the room, for sure the real star of this voyage was our butler Elvie - the personification of the service excellence and attention to detail. She was absolutely fantastic and from the moment when we arrived on board, every detail was taken care of, every need was met, and every desire anticipated with just the right level of sensitive, informed service. Elvie was the prototype of a perfect butler: trusting and trustworthy, friendly but not familiar, reliable, low-key, unobtrusive professional. Thank you very much Elvie. The choice of daily canapes is up to you; we requested caviar on blinis before dinner and Elvie took care that the blinis change every day so no change to get bored. You can opt at the beginning of the voyage for 2 bottle of premium spirit and again the butler took care to replace the bottle before they finished. Dinning Cunard is respected for its cuisine and service, with a wide variety of well-prepared and presented dishes. Queens Grill and Princess Grill, two Grill Class-only restaurants, provide exclusive dining. These have a single-seating arrangement, providing an intimate, exclusive dining experience than in the two-seating main Britannia Restaurant. On the port side, the 142-seat Queens Grill is for passengers in suites and top category accommodation grades, and provides the best cuisine and service aboard. The Cunard Grill experience also includes alfresco dining in a seldom used courtyard terrace (The Courtyard), suitably protected from the wind, and exclusive access for Grill Class passengers to an upper terrace deck, with dedicated staff as well as the Grills’ lounge and bar. Culinary adventures aboard Cunard Queen Victoria extend beyond the elegant menus from superbly casual to sublimely creative. or guests who stay in Queens Grill accommodation, this is ultimate expression of dining excellence. The waiter will guide you through delicious possibilities. The chef does his best to fulfil all requests. The 142-seat Queens Grill restaurant, featuring a cream, gold and blue colour scheme, is the exclusive dining venue of Queens Suite passengers. During the day, the entire length of the Queens Grill dining room is illuminated with natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows. At night, lighting comes from decorative glass uplighters. Wedgwood bone china, Waterford crystal, sterling silverware and Fili d'Oro Italian premium linens complete the scene. The Grills are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But the Grills experience is not limited to the restaurants themselves. The same goes for the room service for these guests and there is no charge for that, it is all kind of inclusive. In the Grills the world “limit” basically doesn’t exist. The caviar is available, the foie gras is available. If you want it every night, have it every night. The dinner menu is a many splendored thing, with appetisers that might include sevruga caviar or seafood bisque. Typical choices for mains could be lobster flambe with Cognac truffle and wild mushroom risotto, while a choice of around six desserts (including a sugar-free option) The cheese selection is beyond magnificent. Here however, the menu functions merely as a guide because, in grand Cunard tradition, staff will accommodate any request, on or off the menu, if available. The menus in the Grill restaurants are similar, but with a few added extras in the Queen’s Grill, such as Chateaubriand – and a genuinely ‘on demand’ service, where you can walk in and ask for whatever you desire to be prepared for you there and then! Here is a sample of a dinner menu: APPETIZERS & SOUPS - Symphony of Salmon Tartar, Shrimp Ceviche on Trumpet Mushroom & Green Asparagus - Sturgeon Caviar on Buckwheat Blini SALADS - Baby Spinach Salad, Walnut & Crispy Bacon Bits, Balsamic & Grape Dressing - Endive Salad with Asparagus, Honey Ginger Dressing ENTRÉES - Pan-roasted Halibut, Forked Potato, Orange & Lime Marmalade, Vanilla Beurre Blanc - Lobster Américaine Flambé with Cognac, Truffle, Wild Mushroom Risotto - Roast Duck à L’Orange, Pommes Amandine - Châteaubriand, Larded Peas & Gratin Dauphinoise Potatoes DESSERTS - Cassis Champagne Mousse, Wild Berry Coulis - Mango & Passion Fruit Crème Brûlée - Chocolate and Raspberry Crêpe Soufflé with Oranges, Vanilla Sauce - Sugar-free Strawberry Tart with Fresh Berry Salad - A Selection of International Cheeses from the Cheese Trolley is Served at your Table In Queens Grill, Cunard have an obsession with setting fire every second so expect around 4-5 fireworks show at your neighbour’s tables when Maître D’ start the procedure of “flambé” everything is in the menu for main course. The huge set menu in Queens Grill is also supplemented by an a’la carte menu, and then the ability to order off menu if you want. The range of dishes is huge, including dishes cooked at your table. Service is exceptional. Afternoon tea has been a Cunard tradition for more than a century, and the brew served is a blend of Ceylon, Assam and Kenyan tea specially selected for Cunard.. Tea is served from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Queens Room certainly deserves a mention, with a small army of white-gloved waiters dancing attendance with pots of fresh leaf tea and plates of finger sandwiches, mini open-faced sandwiches, mini cakes and, to finish, a separate individual plate with a scone, jam and cream. Sometimes you have to wait in line to get a table if you don’t like to share it but the secret is to arrive around 15-20 minutes before the closing time. The reward of sharing your afternoon tea with “the crowd” is the entertainment: very good quality classical musicians, sometimes a dancing afternoon tea (ballroom of course) The other option is the Queens Lounge where unfortunately if you don’t catch a table you end in the restaurant where the story is a bit different (see the comments at the end of this review). Here is no music but at least the quality of tea, sandwiches, cakes and even scones and clotted cream is above those in Queens Room. Of course, as on all other ships the range of restaurants is quite impressive: - The Lido on Deck 9 - a casual, bright and airy informal dining area with a daylong buffet selection and historic Cunard images lining the walls. - Golden Lion Pub on Deck 2 - the only bar onboard that sells draught ales and lagers with an atmosphere which resembles a traditional English pub with an antique-ish pressed tin ceiling and wide-screen wall-mounted TVs showing the latest news and sport. - Cafe Carinthia on Deck 2, named after a former Cunard ship, offers the style and sophistication of a traditional French patisserie in a classy space highlighted by Art Deco elements in shades of gold, blue and rich bronze. An ideal spot for a light lunch when quiches, smoked salmon sandwich and salads are on the menu. - Britannia Restaurant on Decks 2 and 3 is Queen Victoria's largest dining venue, an elegant space with double-height ceiling offset by cornices and intimate groupings of tables that try to balance the room's size. The room's upper and lower levels accommodate 878 guests and a string quartet or harpist usually performs during the first hour of dining Entertainment I have always found Cunard entertainment disappointing. It is very dated. The production shows are predictable and rely heavily on safe routines of songs through the ages and they pull in UK based guest entertainers that are past their prime. It is unadventurous and is (in my view) unexciting. I usually avoid or end up leaving most shows. They are trying to attract a younger crowd on the ships, but their entertainment has not yet got that memo! The 830-seat, three-deck Royal Court Theatre on Deck 3 was designed to emulate the grandeur and luxury of the spectacular designs of architect Frank Matcham, whose dramatic multi-tiered theatres made him one of the most prolific theatre designers Two shows per night -- at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. -- last around 50 minutes. While on-board, Cunard had on schedule a quite good dance show), a performance by some comedians, which was sometimes rude and the British sense of humour was unsurprisingly rather lost on many of the Americans and Germans in the audience and the same blues band from P&O with the same attitude and mediocrity. Dance Passion celebrates the exuberant world of dance. Outstanding international dancers execute superb and diverse choreography, capturing the magic of Gene Kelly - the sensual Argentine Tango, Salsa and Samba. The show delivers the grace and elegance of classic dance to the vibrant energy of Swing and Jump Jive. It was our favourite moment in the Royal Court Theatre and for the first time bot singers and dancer the reach the same level of professionalism and quality. Among the Royal Court's most distinguishing features are the 16 private boxes that frame the stage and are furnished with armchairs and cocktail tables, two of which are wheelchair accessible. A box for two entitles you to a glass of Champagne, canapes or chocolate-covered strawberries, a photo taken with the cast and the services of a uniformed bell boy who escorts you to your seat. Is a must do experience! Especially on sea days, passengers are offered for choice with lots of activities, including beginners' bridge classes, golf-putting tournaments, whist, bingo and lectures. The Golden Lion Pub hosts a variety of entertainment (such as darts or trivia games), while ballroom and line dance classes get passengers moving in the Queens Room. Art classes are sometimes held in Hemispheres. There are also daily Friends of Bill W and Friends of Dorothy meetings. Wherever you go, you will encounter live music, typically harpists or pianists. The lectures must be said in my opinion were very poor. A Nigel Vardy an "explorer"? And a Malcolm Macfarlane who spoke on music in 60's,etc! Hemispheres on deck 10, positioned aft of the mast and adjacent to the Commodore Club, overlooks the wood-decked Pavilion Pool will play recorded ballroom and Latin music in the early evening and offer live music for late-night dancing from 10:30 p.m. onwards alternating with a DJ. The band was “alright”…maybe too much reggae and a massive obsession to change every other songs in “reggae style” music…and their go on ABBA was quite painful. Despite the 60-70-80’s type of music we loved our nights in Hemispheres and we catch early hours of the morning there. 1920s Art Deco inspired The Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, overlooks the Grand Lobby and is a chic room sparkling with golden glass elements that form a backdrop for sandblasted Art Deco glass panels. As the name suggests, the bar serves Veuve Clicquot Champagne exclusively. This costs from $80 to $395 a bottle but no worries you cannot order Champagne by the glass. We signed up for an wine tasting event – “Around the world in 12 wines” which was 100 times better than the similar free wine tasting dedicated to loyal guests. The Chef Sommelier (Ovidiu) and our own sommelier (Dejan) gave us in a very pleasant, relax way the chance to discover what we like and what we don’t like about wine and manage to infuse a lot of knowledge in a very entertaining and professional manner. And the sail away from Hamburg was an exceptional event with the marching Band of Elsinor Girls (Helsingør Pigegarde) and a passing by Queen Elizabeth with horns in full blast. What a magic evening ! I was always impressed by the library on decks 2 and 3 which offers a selection of 6,000 books. This traditionally styled, mahogany wood, double-height room is connected by a spiral staircase to the upper level. The carpet is embedded with signatures of literary figures and there are plenty of leather sofas and armchairs And of course the magnificent Queens Room ballroom hosting themed parties, cocktails and ballroom dance sessions every day ! The Cunard White Star Service and training is clearly very efficient and service is very good. It is a more formal, British and reserved style of service. Though I think, that it lacks some of the warmth though. The Captain, and senior crew, in all my experiences have been more distant and formal and stayed at arms length from the passengers. On recent trips there also has been more of an underlying tension about the changes that Cunard is going through to grow and become more modern that on-board seem less welcome of, and this seeps through the crew. On our last trip this feeling was not present anymore and we enjoyed every second on-board. The slickness and professionalism of Cunard, through its White Star Service credo, compensates for the less warm approach. Couple of points where Cunard has be look in to be not only very close to perfection, but perfect: - Afternoon tea in Queens Lounge Despite the fact that Queens Lounge is a lovely comfy stylish space can’t accommodate all the guests in Grills. Therefore the Maître D’ use Queens Restaurant as an overflow space which is OK. Unfortunately the service standards are not the same; the waiting time was quite long, the waiters seems to be quite annoyed when you ask for a menu or a special type of tea and you need to wave couple of times to get the attention of somebody for an extra cake or scone. - Purser’s Desk Staff All over the world, in hotels or cruise ships the reception team is the interface between the guests and the rest of the team and therefore they must be a quintessence of the entire company’s customer service philosophy. On Queen Victoria, in two occasions, the receptionist manage to destroy point by point the entire list of Cunard White Star Service code and more than that when we mentioned the wrong attitude to the Purser the reaction was more or less the same; the only difference were the stripes on the jacket. - On-board lectures Cunard always exceeded the expectations of traveller with very interesting lecturers and topics. From literature to art, from history to media, I always try to find a place in the theatre for a morning or an afternoon lecture. This time the two options were completely wrong. Malcolm Macfarlane talking about 60s and 70s music mastering quite well PowerPoint, Google Search engine and YouTube but leaving behind any confidence in front of the audience and any charisma and Nigel Vardy ,an "explorer", which manage to empty an venue ¼ full at the beginning with at least 40% till the end of the presentation Bottom line: this new experience on Queen Victoria brought back Cunard on our options list for a future cruise due to Cunard’s commitment to ensuring each guest is pampered during each voyage. Cunard prides itself on standards of service that go above and beyond, exceeding the expectations of guests. And indeed on Queen Victoria this January we rediscovered the White Star Service Before the last Cunard cruise I was part of the pessimists concerned that Cunard is having to “dumb down” through the demands and pressures of Carnival ownership. I believe that I can observe a trend of erosion of the high standards and quality that Cunard used to strive to and maintain. Now I am on the other side, the optimist side believing that the less than superlative experiences are the inevitable challenges of having to deliver service consistently across a larger fleet. For a very long time Cunard had just one ship in the form of Queen Elizabeth 2. This meant it was easier for the company to maintain consistency. Now they have 3 ships with many more crew members and demands. But Cunard is back on the right path! So to sum up this has been a trip which has seen Cunard keep up its exceptional service and standards. Cunard does keep it First Class and does rule the waves. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We are experienced cruisers and have travelled twice before with Cunard on the QM2 transatlantics in the Princess Grill. We loved both trips so when we saw a short post Christmas cruise on Queen Victoria to Copenhagen and Hamburg we took ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and have travelled twice before with Cunard on the QM2 transatlantics in the Princess Grill. We loved both trips so when we saw a short post Christmas cruise on Queen Victoria to Copenhagen and Hamburg we took the plunge and booked. Originally we booked a Britannia balcony stateroom but decided to upgrade to Princess Grill as we thought it excellent value. We travelled with a friend who booked the adjoining stateroom. We live in Devon and travelled up to Southampton the day before, staying the night in the Novotel, a somewhat tired hotel. Embarkation took place under monsoon conditions. We arrived at the Mayflower cruise terminal at about 12.15 and despite having priority embarkation it took about 50 minutes to checkin and pass security. However, everyone was very good natured and we were soon in our cabin 5094. These P2 staterooms are comfortable with a sitting area by the window and the bed in the interior of the room. The bathrooms are adequate although one showers in the dark when the shower curtain is drawn as there is no light over the bath. The room does not have a kettle, which is a nuisance, as Cunard room service tea is not hot! The bed was configured as requested and although 2 of the surfaces had not been properly wiped down and had a sticky residue, the room was generally clean. A bowl of fruit, a dish of chocolate covered strawberries and 2 bottles of Pol Acker sparkling wine awaited us. We headed up to the Princess Grill where we had requested a table for 3. We were shown to a table which was located very close to the serving station which proved to be very noisy. A word with Maitre d' ensured that when we came back for dinner on the first evening, our table had been changed to a delightfully private quiet round table to 3 by the window at the rear of the room overlooking the aft decks. Olga was our charming and so efficient waitress, Unni the sommelier. Between them they saw to our every need. Having read reviews on this forum, I was prepared for disappointment on the food front but I can honestly say that every dish that we had was first class. From evening 2 - a comprehensive a la carte menu was offered alongside the table d' hotel and there was no problem with mixing the menus. Table side gueridon cooking was offered every evening and on 2 occasions the flambe desserts were outstanding. Apart from 2 pretty ordinary room service breakfasts, we ate all our meals in the Grill. The ship is lovely and very well kept. She absorbs her passengers very well- she was full on this trip and there was never a feeling of being crowded. The decor is warm and elegant and somehow suited the cold North Sea very well. The weather was windy and cold and the sea was sometimes choppy which caused problems for some people. One problem was that for the first 3 days, the ship's public rooms were very cold as the heating did not seem able to cope. Our packing had allowed for light clothes on the sea days as we thought that the ship was likely to be overheated - definitely not the case. However as we were visiting cold countries we had also packed warm clothing so the problem was resolvable. If there was a disappointment - it was on the entertainment front. Although there was a full programme of events, very little of it appealed. There was only one production show which was dance led and took place on the Thursday night - we booked a box ( a nice treat) but it wasn't for me. On other nights there were cabaret acts such as a pianist, a comedy juggler etc. One thing that really struck me was how good the crew were, our cabin steward was not really up to the mark but without exception, everyone else from the spa to the reception were charming smiling and helpful - what a difference from the crew of Oceana aboard which we cruised a couple of years ago! The ports of call were interesting, we took ships tours in both, the Hamburg tour was particularly good. The Queen Elizabeth was in Hamburg on the same day and a spectacular fireworks display was arranged when both ships sailed together at 20.30. During the voyage, my wife was unfortunate enough to be taken ill and had to spend a considerable amount of time in the medical centre. The care and attention she received was simply excellent. We enjoyed our cruise very much - so much so that we took advantage of the onboard future booking discount and our 17th cruise will be in the Princess Grill on the Queen Victoria later this year! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Having had 2 previous cruises with Cunard on Queen Victoria,our Baltic Cruise on Queen Elizabeth was a let down. Sometimes the staff were offhand or just plain rude, the variety of food limited and fresh supplies ran out towards the end of ... Read More
Having had 2 previous cruises with Cunard on Queen Victoria,our Baltic Cruise on Queen Elizabeth was a let down. Sometimes the staff were offhand or just plain rude, the variety of food limited and fresh supplies ran out towards the end of the cruise. Our statement was as expected and the bed extremely comfortable. The service from our room steward was faultless. On board entertainment was varied in quality but generally okay. The pianists (meant as background music) in the Golden Lion & Commodore Club were rather loud and made conversation difficult. Singing badly seemed to be the only talent of one of the entertainment team. Sadly we arrived at most ports on the itinerary at least an hour late (even with time zone adjustments) & with large numbers of passengers using the 15 day cruise for for mini cruises, embarkation & disembarkation was chaotic and the on-shore tour passengers suffered delays or curtailment of their trips. Passengers commented that It was like being on a busy cross channel ferry & clearly the staff were very stressed. Apart from St Peterburg the on shore tours were poor value for money and badly described.he content of some trips was very poor - tour for the sake of it because we're here & it's an opportunity for Cunard to make more money. Cunard prides itself on how quickly the Queen Elizabeth was built. Sadly the quality of the build is starting to show with wood veneer panels in the corridors starting to bubble & come unstuck. The seals on some large windows in the public rooms have failed and slipshod repairs with daubs of mastic are evident. Rust is showing through in many places the proud Queen Elizabeth seems in parts to be a very shabby lady. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This is our second cruise on Cunard, the first being our first ocean cruise being 22 nights on Queen Mary 2 in 2012. In between we have been on 4 other cruises with Celebrity. Queen Elizabeth is Cunard's newest ship first entering ... Read More
This is our second cruise on Cunard, the first being our first ocean cruise being 22 nights on Queen Mary 2 in 2012. In between we have been on 4 other cruises with Celebrity. Queen Elizabeth is Cunard's newest ship first entering service in 2010, and overall, the standard of service fell way below expectations. Our stateroom and the attendant staff were as expected, but the main complaint is the casual dining area, the "Lido Restaurant". The available variety was poor and predictable to the point of boring, however the quality of what was presented was generally acceptable, but some choices such as the Pizzas are quite disappointing. Wine on cruise ships is always a topic of complaint, but any seasoned traveller will know that the bottle which costs $10 in the local bottle shop will be $50 to $60 on the ship. We knowingly purchased such wine in a "Wine Package", which had a selection of 7 whites and 7 reds (no sparkling), but Cunard have made this package rather difficult to use. For example, if you come back from a shore excursion and decide to have a quiet drink on your balcony - forget it. Unless you had been caught on this one before, you need to have ordered a bottle from your package the night before. If you thought you would like a selection of cheese, crackers and nuts to have with your non existent drink, forget that too! There is cheese available in the Lido at breakfast, but in 16 days I have not seen a cracker? Entertainment standards also seem to be deteriorating. There is a general term being used in conversation in that everything is being "Carnivalised", a term which refers to the penny pinching managing priorities of Cunards owners - Carnival Cruises. This observation is not exclusive to Cunard ships, our experience would suggest that Celebrity are even somewhat further ahead in the pursuit of perfect penny pinching. Coming from a country where everyone is apparently descended from convicts, I am not a great fan of Cunard's heavy perpetuation and promotion of the old British "Class" system! (Unless it applies to me). Sure, have suites, wine, fruit, Internet etc perks for loyal customers and those who pay more, but be discrete. Areas roped off with a sign stating "this area reserved for the exclusive use of Queens and Princesses..." is what started revolutions in France and Russia! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015

This voyage was a 4 night cruise from Southampton to Hamburg and back, and was my 6th cruise with Cunard and 4th aboard Queen Elizabeth; definitely my favourite ship of the fleet.

Now I've experienced Britannia, Britannia Club ... Read More

This voyage was a 4 night cruise from Southampton to Hamburg and back, and was my 6th cruise with Cunard and 4th aboard Queen Elizabeth; definitely my favourite ship of the fleet.

Now I've experienced Britannia, Britannia Club and both Grills on Queen Elizabeth I thought I should share my thoughts of the ship. This cruise was in Britannia Club.

Embarkation: Delayed, however this was due to passengers not adhering to their embarkation times and arriving 3 hours early. Passengers with embarkation times of 2pm who had arrived far too early boarded before me (my check in time was 12.30). Disappointing, however, I was reassured by the lady at check in that embarkation times are to be strictly enforced from the summer as the changes to the terminal, luggage and check in process are completed. The check in process and security checks were however efficient and quick; as I have always experienced with Cunard.

Accommodation: Comfortable, not huge but plenty of space for most voyages. I feared I would miss the Q4 penthouse I had enjoyed on my previous voyage but I didn't. The larger suites are superb if you can afford them but the standard staterooms are still perfectly adequate. The stateroom was spotlessly clean including the bathroom; this was maintained by an excellent steward throughout. Complimentary chocolates and dipped strawberries are a welcome extra touch for Britannia Club staterooms. Also had 2 bottles of Pol Acker sparkling wine (not sure if this is a blessing or a curse!). It also has a spacious balcony and is on deck 8; not ideal for the stormy seas which followed as rolling movement is worst here. The safe was not working initially but this was promptly rectified by the steward when he came to introduce himself and check we were happy with everything; another pleasant surprise as many stewards do not do this.

Food: I was not sure what to expect from the Britannia Club restaurant as there was some conjecture as to whether the menu was identical to Britannia and whether there was an a la carte menu as there is in the grills. I was pleasantly surprised. There was a small a la carte menu; ideal if nothing suits you on the main menu. It was far inferior to the grills a la carte menus but Britannia Club is a great deal cheaper. Cunard menus have been getting a bit repetitive on previous cruises. It was almost as if they heard my thoughts and catered accordingly; on the 2nd day onwards plenty of dishes appeared that I had never seen before. All of the food was very nice. Some dishes better than others but all enjoyable. The menus are the same as Britannia but were all very pleasant; I would highly recommend the smoked salmon bagel and poached haddock for breakfast. The restaurant itself is wood panelled and stylish; comfortable and cosy, with a more intimate service than the Britannia restaurant. It is also single seating which does make dinner far more relaxed than being fixed at 1 of 2 times.

The Verandah restaurant was also absolutely sublime, and also has a new menu. The food here is Michelin Star standard and is extremely good value. The complimentary cleansing champagne sorbet served before the main course is delicious and refreshing. The restaurant itself is beautifully appointed with excellent service.

The Lido buffet was slightly disappointing. I only eat here for snacks but noticed how it lacked the mountains of smoke salmon that was available on QM2 in the King's Court. However there was still plenty of choice.

Bars and Main Rooms: The Queen Elizabeth is a beautifully appointed ship; far better than QM2 and Victoria in my opinion. The widespread wood panelling and art deco pays homage to the great liners of the past but it does not feel too old and out dated. It is warm, comfortable and relaxing yet still an ideal, stylish setting for formal nights.

The Commodore Club is beautiful and used to be my favourite bar on QE with views over the bow of the ship, however service here was slow with too few staff on this cruise. The ambience however remained fantastic with evening music well suited to the setting, creating a lovely atmosphere.

I spent more time in the midships bar (which has become QE's champagne bar in all but name). Situated in the Grand Lobby it is also stylish and comfortable with much better service and an enjoyable selection of Veuve Cliquot champages. Much is said about the high prices of drinks on board. They are similar to London bar prices; not cheap but not overly extortionate.

Entertainment and Activities: I rarely indulge in the organised shows and other activities, nor pay much attention to them as they are aimed at an older generation (I am 21 years old). However I find Cunard's ships wonderfully relaxing and ideal if you are happy to eat, drink in a refined atmosphere, sleep, read, relax in the pools and hot tubs and wander the decks enjoying the sea air. I did book a private box for the Beatles Experience one evening. Boxes are very good value in my opinion as you receive a half bottle of Veuve, champagne truffles and pre show finger deserts, as well as the box. The Beatles tribute was superb, far better than I anticipated.

The ship does offer a large library and a card room with board games as well as a games deck. You will find a gym on deck 9, which with a good variety of equipment. My partner and I enjoy getting up early and spending time here before relaxing in the spa and having breakfast. The Royal Bath House is an exclusive area that you must book for the whole voyage on short cruises. To prevent it being overcrowded passes for only 30-40 couples were sold on this voyage, and cost $200 for 4 nights; good value in my opinion it you make use of it. The bath house is very relaxing until you turn the large jets on which are far too loud and stay on for ages. It is very easy to fall asleep on the hot stone beds looking out to sea through the floor to ceiling windows.

Ports: As for Hamburg, it was raining so we didn't do a great deal here but the Miniature Wonderland is excellent and well worth a visit. The British tourists all got very excited when a model BA Concorde took off with superb sound effects.

There was bad weather with high winds and heavy seas delaying our return to Southampton. We were kept fully informed by the Captain and free telephone calls were available for all passengers needing to amend travel arrangements. Lunch was also provided on the last day (although many dishes bore an uncanny resemblance to the room service menu). Despite being a cruise ship (not an ocean liner like QM2) the QE was very stable in the 8 metre waves we experienced in the English Channel.

To conclude, this was an enjoyable cruise and most passengers seemed happy. One gripe is that I wish the dress code was better enforced; one couple walking into the Commodore Club looked like tramps and I am not exaggerating! Virtually everyone in the Grills only areas dresses correctly. Elsewhere it is only a handful that are scruffy but many do stretch what is acceptable dress somewhat. The service can be lacking sometimes but is generally good. Cunard is ideal for anyone that wants a relaxing cruise in a refined atmosphere who enjoys formality in a stylish, traditional setting. I look forward to returning to QE in August for a cruise to the Fjords.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014

just returned from the New Year cruise on Q Victoria and had a fantastic time. We were in Amsterdam on New Years Eve and the ship remained on UK time throughout the voyage so that we could enjoy the Magnificent fireworks in Amsterdam at ... Read More

just returned from the New Year cruise on Q Victoria and had a fantastic time. We were in Amsterdam on New Years Eve and the ship remained on UK time throughout the voyage so that we could enjoy the Magnificent fireworks in Amsterdam at midnight Dutch time before coming inside to celebrate all over again on UK time ... A great idea!

We were on 2nd sitting in Britannia and the food was excellent the whole time - possibly the best we have experienced since the QE2 days.

Entertainment, however wasn't quite as good -the 4Tunes were superb and did a great job on NYE, but an ageing David Copperfield (not the illusionist unfortunately ... The other one) was pretty poor and the Cunard singers and dancers were just average. Sally Sagoe is pitiful and her morning show is torture to watch ... Not a patch on some of the other Entertainment Directors we have seen on Cunard.

Having said that, we still had a great time.

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Sail Date: August 2014

This cruise was a substitute for the Black Sea and Turkish Splendors which, due to Mr Putin, hardly touched the Black Sea! As we had stops at Warnemunde [Germany] and Kristiansand [Norway] on a previous cruise to St Petersburg the ... Read More

This cruise was a substitute for the Black Sea and Turkish Splendors which, due to Mr Putin, hardly touched the Black Sea! As we had stops at Warnemunde [Germany] and Kristiansand [Norway] on a previous cruise to St Petersburg the decision was made to head for Norway via Hamburg. Good choice.

Embarkation at Southampton..........I must mention this, was the slickest ever! Practically straight onto the ship with no queue; I could hardly believe it!

The stateroom was an upgrade issued about a week prior to the cruise. This glass-fronted balcony was the same as on QE and QV previously and is a better option to the enclosed balcony on decks 4 to 6 on QM2. There is often debate about this. To my mind the sheltered balcony would probably be better on a Trans-Atlantic trip. We will find out! Booked next July.

Two stops at Hamburg were good with weather fine on first visit so we took to walking around the city rather than the open-top Red Bus or an organized excursion. Took the Cunard Shuttle bus to the Town Hall and and found our own way back; easy and not very far. Hamburg is a surprise with more canals than Venice, or so we were told!

I won't go through all the Norway destinations as they were equally good. We did the Red Bus in Bergen and then walked the town in the afternoon after lunch. Our only organized excursion was at Andalsnes and the Rauma Railway. This is a 'must do', although greatly added-to by our guide back down the mountain in the coach. Weather was hot here, with some teenagers jumping into the fjord from the wooden jetty.

Back to QM2. Cabin Service was, as on all our previous Cunard cruises, excellent. "Thank You" Larry. Also faultless were our two Britannia Restaurant waiters and all the Restaurant dining experience was [nearly!] 'spot-on'. I wish that I could get Consommé soup like this back in the UK.

Of the Guest Speakers, Midge Ure [Band Aid] was really good. Of the entertainers, the flautist and pianist Metier Ensemble were terrific. One slight comment would probably be the result of a majority of the ship's guests being German. It seemed that much of the entertainment was skewed to the majority audience. A good instance of this was soprano Penny Mathisen's performance. Part of the routine was in German, to the point of performing a well known Italian song in German. Even the majority would probably have wondered what was going on! To me it just spoiled the show.

Overall this was a pretty good cruise and would we do it again? Probably yes, but a month earlier if possible. A major plus was that we got away from the high pollen count in the UK.

 

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Sail Date: August 2014

I have cruised more than ten times with Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Costa, Carnival, RCL and so on. This is the first time I tried Cunard and thought it should have been better than other cruise lines. Well, I was wrong. We ... Read More

I have cruised more than ten times with Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Costa, Carnival, RCL and so on. This is the first time I tried Cunard and thought it should have been better than other cruise lines. Well, I was wrong. We chose it was because of the itinerary - Norwegian Fjords, we thought with the fine food, and excellent service in Cunard, it would make the whole journey pleasantly. Well, I was wrong, the food was lacking of varieties. Seemingly only caters to British clients. Every morning has same breakfast such as bacon, sausage, pan-friend muchroom and grilled tomato. After a week, really fed up . We dined at Britannia restaurant, the food was plain, not tasty at all, we had to switch to Buffet restaurant for a change, but dinner at buffet was a big mistake too. Lack of varieties, only British-style food, same thing every night. We had no choice but to go for fresh pizza. Pasta is simple dish, but they do not do fresh made one, no ingredients such as onion,ham, mushroom to stir fry with the sauce. ONLY PLAIN SAUCE with PLAIN PASTA. It was horrible. We had to tolerate entire 7 days and cannot wait to get off board for food. How did people comment Cunard serves finer food. It was really inaccurate information.

Can't deny the public area of the ship is décor classic and nicely, but the staffs was liveliness, they were not happy at all. The activities in the ship suck ...no Zumba class, no golf putting tournament like the other ships do. I was so bored in the ship.

In one word, I won't go back again for any Cunard at all.

 

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Sail Date: August 2014

I'm very satisfied with our cruise on Queen Victoria to the Baltic and Northern Europe. We have cruised before and this was the best experience. The food was uniformly excellent in the different venues, the entertainment was varied and ... Read More

I'm very satisfied with our cruise on Queen Victoria to the Baltic and Northern Europe. We have cruised before and this was the best experience. The food was uniformly excellent in the different venues, the entertainment was varied and professional and the service could not be faulted in any way. By way of example of the service that was typical, I dropped the cap of my lipstick one morning while in the stateroom bathroom and it rolled away under the counter's bottom shelf and out of my reach. I considered it lost. However, the room stewardess must have noticed it missing when she made up our room and retrieved and re-placed it. Another example is when I ordered a veggie burger on the pool deck for lunch. I was pleased to see that the cook grilled the patty separately from the beef burgers on a different grill and used clean utensils to flip it. These are just small matters but they show the level of attention and care. I was also told by the executive chef that with two weeks notice a separate vegan menu could be prepared for the entire cruise. This might encourage a vegan family member to come with us another time.

Contrary to what I've read elsewhere, I found the drink prices reasonable at about $7 - $8. There was no pressure in any of the lounges to purchase a drink, however.

To balance my review, I thought there was more ballroom dancing than necessary, from my point of view. It seemed that the same six to ten couples fox trotted and quick stepped around the floor while everyone else watched from the sidelines or were elsewhere on the ship.

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Sail Date: August 2014

Firstly, let me assure you that this stunning cruise ship is the epitome of traditional British elegance and exquisite floating luxury. How anyone can rate their Cruise Critic review for the beautiful Queen Victoria as only 1 or 2 stars ... Read More

Firstly, let me assure you that this stunning cruise ship is the epitome of traditional British elegance and exquisite floating luxury. How anyone can rate their Cruise Critic review for the beautiful Queen Victoria as only 1 or 2 stars is just ridiculous. The outstanding service starts the moment you arrive at the embarkation building. Porters whisk your luggage away straight to the security scanners as you step out of the taxi, leaving you a carefree, lightweight meander into the large and airy terminal building. Check in was quick and painless, with a swift move through security and onto embarkation. As you set foot onboard, you are greeted by the most amazing decor, almost like stepping back in time to the elegant Victorian days, lightly feathered with a modern twist. The cabins are very spacious, immaculate and very comfortable. We were greeted with a chilled bottle of champagne on ice by our bedside, with slippers and dressing gown to relax in whilst we waited for our luggage which was also very prompt to arrive. The ship has so much to do onboard, (but dont expect endless energetic activities like you find onboard Royal Caribbean or P&O ships).

The Queen Victoria, as with all Cunard ships, has far more elegance and to be honest, a far better clientele, than you find on other cruise lines. This ship is a grand lady, gently gliding through the waves with such grace. The food can only be described as spectacular. The daily menu is brimming with an endless choice of truly delicious delicacies and professionally prepared dishes. Your daily activities programme is overflowing with things to do, but again dont expect rock climbing walls, ice skating, surf boards and bumper cars as you get on other cruise ships- you will instead receive a choice of knitting, needlework and scarf tying classes! I jest you not, this is genuine, but dont be alarmed, there are also lots of more modern pass times to enjoy, such as screenings of the latest Hollywood blockbuster movies, pub quizzes, dance lessons, fantastic spa treatments and a games room, for both young children, teenagers and adults. The evening theatre shows and guest entertainers are of West End standards, and indeed some do actually hail from there. The staff are very friendly, every single one smiles and says hello as you pass by.

The whole ship is kept immaculate, and despite there being 2000 or so passengers onboard, the ship is large enough, yet also personal and privately compact enough to enjoy spacious, un-interrupted "you" time. The daily afternoon tea is a MUST!! But make sure you arrive at least half an hour before the opening time to get a table, as this is very popular. The sandwiches and cakes are fantastic. We all know that the weather is a major factor in most people's holidays, and we were very fortunate to enjoy superb sunshine at every port we visited and also whilst sailing at the north sea which was a very pleasant surprise!

The Norweigan Ffords have the most breathtaking natural scenery I have ever encountered, and I would strongly recommend you visit when you can. The first three ports we visited (Stavanger, Olden and Flam) were lovely, especially the latter two, who boasted stunning unspoilt views across the most spectacular mountains. Bergen was a bit of a disappointment compared to the stunning views of the previous ports, as this is a city with high rise buildings and shops. We soon returned to the luxury of our ship to enjoy the daily entertainment programme, or simply relax in the roof top "winter garden". Passenger ages range from (mainly) retired guests, but plenty of 30 and 40 somethings, and not overrun with screaming children which was a blessing! Something for everyone, and a true delight. My family and I will be definitely travelling with the excellent Cunard company for many years to come.

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